Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a disease that occurs when your white blood cells, called T-lymphocytes or B-lymphocytes, become cancerous and affect your skin.
Lymphocytes are the infection-fighting cells of the lymph system that kill harmful bacteria in the body, among other things. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma can cause rash-like skin redness, slightly raised or scaly round patches on the skin, and, sometimes, skin tumors.
Cutaneous lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but has distinct skin-related symptoms. In fact, it is sometimes called lymphoma of the skin. It can resemble eczema or chronic dermatitis, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis as early as possible.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is by far the most common type of cutaneous lymphoma. CTCL is usually a slow-growing cancer that often develops over many years.
Symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma depend on the stage of the cancer (how far it has spread) and include:
The exact cause of cutaneous lymphoma isn’t known, but scientists know that it begins with a mutation of the white blood cells’ infection-fighting lymphocytes. T-cell lymphoma begins in the lymph tissue, which is found all over the body, including the bone marrow, skin, spleen, tonsils and intestines.
While there is no cure for cutaneous lymphoma, the good news is most types are treatable and not life threatening.
To determine the best course of treatment for you, our team will take into account factors like your age, overall health, medical history and tolerance for specific medications, procedures and therapies. The type of T-cell lymphoma, extent and location of the disease and expectations for the course of the disease will also factor in to determining the best treatment.
Our treatment options may include: